Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A deep history of emotion : an interpretive framework
Author: Hunt, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 0575
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis represents the first extended attempt by an archaeologist to construct an evolutionary theory of emotion. The handful of attempts that have appeared since the 1990s have failed to gain any real traction with archaeologists caught in a theoretical deadlock over the way in which an 'archaeology of emotion' should be approached. This thesis will attempt to break the deadlock by reframing the debate around a 'deep history of emotion'. It will be argued that it is only through a comprehensive longue durée approach that emotion can be understood in a prehistoric context. This requires the construction of a theory that can explain both the early biological origins of emotion and the later cultural constructions that characterize modern human societies. This will be achieved through an appraisal of the interdisciplinary literature on emotion in search of a definition of emotion amendable for the archaeological enterprise. It is argued that rather than seeking discrete emotions directly, archaeologists should focus on the process by which emotional experiences are psychologically constructed and the cognitive traits that combine to produce complex emotional experience. Child development will be proposed as a starting point to understand how emotions are constructed from more basic cognitive ingredients. Ultimately, three hypothetical mindstates will be proposed as heuristics through which hominin emotional capacities may be approached. Archaeological evidence for life history patterns and the cognitive ingredients of emotion will be used to anchor these mindstates in the past, providing predictions for the emotional vocabulary of hominins and possible new ways to interpret behaviour and material culture. This thesis demonstrates that archaeologists can consider the emotional abilities of ancestral hominin by using innovative theoretical methods. An approach of this sort can provide new ways of looking at old data with the objective of expanding our appreciation of the decision-making processes that inform action.
Supervisor: Gamble, Clive ; Hamilakis, Yannis ; Davies, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available